A pirate walks into a bar.

In the three years since I reviewed my first restaurant for Boise Weekly, The Plank tops the charts as the most fun I've had while pigging out for the sake of work.

It's my job to know everything there is to know about food in this town, and not even I knew about The Plank until recently. Here's the skinny: pub food, plain and simple. No smoking. All ages. Beer. Pool table, Golden Tee, jukebox, chess and darts.

During lunch one afternoon, I was minding my own business over some finger steaks when my cover was blown by a diligent BW photog. Suffice it to say that on my first visit to The Plank, the finger steaks were grinds--not overdone or chewy as those little bites tend to arrive in other joints.

But let us not be so silly as to allow finger steaks to be the sole word on The Plank's grub. I returned in my Saturday afternoon disguise, this time with a dart opponent. Spinach dip to start, a chicken and spinach sand-wench for me and a chicken and avocado wrap for the nemesis. Ordering aside, we investigated the pirate-themed decor (loved the plunging pirate woman above the entrance) and stacked up the quarters for triple header.

Cold spinach dip arrived quickly. Yes, cold, but intentionally so. A concoction of sour cream, onions, spinach and tomato served with thinly sliced baguette, celery and carrots. Not hot, heavy and greasy, it a was perfect afternoon appetizer.

After losing 301 and holding my own through half of the spinach dip, we agreed to set aside our weapons and enjoy lunch. My sand-wench, saddled with a side salad (on which the appearance of tomatoes, olives and cheese made up for a lackluster bleu cheese dressing), was a fantastic main squeeze. Sliced chicken, tomato, spinach and onion splashed with a vinaigrette, my sand-wench was simple and full of flavor. The nemesis fell in love with his fries and like my sand-wench, his wrap was simple, fresh and full of flavor for something so straightforward.

The staff was friendly, the restaurant extremely clean, the silverware means business (unlike many flimsy accoutrements in other eateries), the food and drink specials are pretty darn special and after a brief brain wracking, the nemesis and I could think of no other place where food, beer and darts could be had smoke free.

—Rachael Daigle won 501 with a sharp double six.

The Plank: 650 S. Vista Ave., 336-1790. Mon.-Wed.: 11 am.-midnight, Thu.-Fri.: 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat.: 12 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun.: 4 p.m.-close. Food served daily until 11 p.m.

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